Barns & Stables

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Winter can make the most mundane tasks challenging. This reality is clearly illustrated when it comes to watering animals. For as long as man has worked alongside horses and livestock, there have been different watering methods and their seasonal variations.

donkeys in the cold, how to keep donkeys warm, keeping horses warm, keeping equines warm

Donkeys are not well suited to cold, wet environments and need extra protection in the winter, new research has found. The findings have been incorporated into the UK's updated Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) Code of Practice for the welfare of horses, ponies, donkeys and their hybrids.

Horse Run-In Shed equine, horse shelter equine, horse property drainage

Horses are among the most free-ranging of domestic animals. They evolved as nomadic and migratory animals and have adapted to many variables in terrain and weather. They are built and instinctively driven to move, and their first reaction to anything remotely considered a threat is to flee. Domestication has changed some of these genetic qualities to fit human goals, but not by much.

It’s now nearly 150 years since the Great Chicago Fire, which, according to popular legend, broke out after Catherine O’Leary’s infamous milking cow kicked over a lantern in the barn on the night of October 8, 1871. The resulting barn fire, aided by the wind, destroyed three square miles of the City of Chicago, killing approximately 300 people, destroying 18,000 buildings, and leaving 100,000 people – a third of the city’s population – homeless before it was finally brought under control the next day.

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1. Consider having your horse tattooed, branded, or microchipped. Those with permanent identification will have a much better chance of reunion with the rightful owner, if found.

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Fundamental to owning horses is the fencing used to contain them. In times past, the options were simply wooden boards or barbed wire, both of which are still used in many areas across Canada. Today there are many safe and durable options for containing horses, and horse owners can select their preferences in structure, design, materials, colour, and visibility. Fencing is all about function, and function is dictated by the intended purpose, depending on whether you are running a boarding barn, breeding barn, training facility, or a family acreage with a few ponies for the children.

covid-19 horse barns, hygiene in equestrian stables covid-19, equine guelph health and safety

It will be critically important to maintain physical distancing as barns prepare to re-open with a new “normal” for the upcoming months. The maintenance of six feet physical distance will need to be strictly enforced as well as many new cleaning protocols.

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